With the likes of the stylish Citroen DS3 supermini and the ever-popular Ford Fiesta dominating the small car market, French car maker Peugeot risks being left behind.
In response to this Peugeot has announced it will be releasing the Peugeot 208, a new Peugeot model that will update its range. This new Peugeot will act as a replacement for the ageing 207 model.
What is it then?
The Peugeot 208 is a supermini with a design largely based on the well established Peugeot 308 hatchback.
Its exterior includes design features like a pointed impression on the bonnet, headlights that bend round to the side of the car and a front grill that doesn't touch the bonnet (which actually looks quite cool). It will also come with a three/five door option.
Interior feature wise Peugeot say that it has been 'completely re-thought', which includes things like a smaller steering wheel, elevated instrument panel and a large touch screen.
This new design based angle Peugeot have taken is probably in response to Citroen's DS models. The DS models are evidently very premium cars that are packed with loads of interior features that give comfort and better driving experience. Not to mention their desirable exterior design.
Gilles Vidal, style director at Peugeot automobiles said:"The strength of the 208 lies in its style: it is a real ball of energy. It has the potential to please everyone, like a popular piece of music that touches the human soul regardless of culture."
Is it a case of style over substance then?
Not at all. The new Peugeot 208 has shed some weight and will also aim to corner the 'green' section of the small car market.
The introduction of the new e-HDI micro-hybrid system will be a new feature on the 208 models. The e-HDI system is basically a more efficient version of Start and Stop technology and instead of using purely diesel/petrol to get the engine started again when you stop and traffic lights for example, it is given an electric motor boost.
This boost ultimately uses less fuel therefore gives off less CO2 emissions, as low as 87g/km actually. This is 37g/km lower than the 207 model.
So will the 208 take on the likes of the Ford Fiesta?
But with the Ford Fiesta's already established reputation and popularity it may be hard for the Peugeot to get its foot in the door in terms of bettering Fords sales figures.
However, with low emissions being all the craze lately and the 208's emissions being better than the Fiesta's, as well as having a new unique design, it may have a chance.
How will it fare in the rest of the supermini market?
In a market dominated by the likes of the Ford Fiesta, the Vauxhall Corsa and the Volkswagen Polo, the Peugeot's eye-catching new design and ultra-low driving costs could be enough to finally put it in the same category as the segment big-hitters.
The 208's edge is its new style and eco-friendly emissions, which should impress, particularly when compared to the disappointing 207.
The new Peugeot 208 will be launched in the UK in summer 2012.